Hugh Grant settles court case against The Sun's publisher 'for enormous sum of money'

Hugh Grant has settled a High Court claim against the publisher of The Sun newspaper after being offered an "enormous sum of money".

The actor, 63, was meant to have his claim of unlawful information gathering against The Sun considered in a High Court trial in January.

Grant was suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) alongside Prince Harry for claims which included landline tapping, burglary and "blagging" confidential information about him.

Grant posted on X to say he decided to settle to avoid an outcome where he would have to pay millions in legal costs.

The actor said NGN claimed it was "entirely innocent of the things I had accused the Sun of doing - phone hacking, unlawful information gathering, landline tapping, the burglary of my flat and office, the bugging of my car, the illegal blagging of medical records, lies, perjury and the destruction of evidence".

He continued: "As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court.

"I don't want to accept this money or settle. I would love to see all the allegations that they deny tested in court.

"But the rules around civil litigation mean that if I proceed to trial and the court awards me damages that are even a penny less than the settlement offer, I would have to pay the legal costs of both sides."

Grant, famous for films such as Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill, said his lawyers told him that would "most likely" be the outcome.

"So even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching £10 million in costs. I'm afraid I am shying at that fence," he said.

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Grant has become a prominent campaigner on press reform since the phone-hacking scandal emerged more than a decade ago.

He previously brought a lawsuit against NGN in relation to the now-defunct News Of The World tabloid which was settled in 2012, a year after the newspaper was shut down by media magnate Rupert Murdoch following a public backlash.

NGN has always rejected allegations of any wrongdoing by staff at The Sun, having settled more than 1,000 cases without making any admission of liability in relation to the paper.

Among other things, Grant had claimed he was targeted using "burglaries to order".

In a witness statement, he said: "My claim concerns unlawful acts committed by The Sun, including burglaries to order, the breaking and entering of private property in order to obtain private information through bugging, landline tapping, phone hacking, and the use of private investigators to do all these and other illegal things against me."

Amid news last year that Grant's claim would be tried at High Court, it was reported the actor gave the same evidence he gave to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and ethics in 2011.

Back then, he had spoken about a break-in at his London flat, where the front door was forced off its hinges and a story appeared shortly afterwards in The Sun that "detailed the interior".

NGN has previously denied any unlawful activity took place at The Sun.

A spokesperson for NGN said: "In 2011, an unreserved apology was made by NGN to victims of voicemail interception by the News Of The World. Since then, NGN has been paying financial damages to those with proper claims.

"As we reach the tail end of litigation, NGN is drawing a line under disputed matters, some of which date back more than 20 years ago. In some cases, it has made commercial sense for both parties to come to a settlement agreement before trial to bring a resolution to the matter."

Harry's claim is currently set to go to trial in January 2025.